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Ten years since Toledo Water Crisis, more needs to be done to prevent harmful algal blooms

For Immediate Release:
Thursday, June 27, 2024

Emily Bacha, OEC or 614-487-5837

Columbus, OH Earlier today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) released its annual Lake Erie Harmful Algal Bloom forecast. The Western Lake Erie Basin is predicted to have a moderate to larger-than-moderate sized harmful algal bloom (HAB) with a severity of 5 (between 4.5 to 6, out of 10).

Despite significant investments in wetlands and voluntary conservation practices through the state’s H2Ohio program, Lake Erie and Ohio’s inland lakes need more aggressive action to reduce nutrient pollution to meet the scale of the problem. 

The following quote can be attributed, in whole or in part, to Emily Kelly, Agricultural and Water Coordinator (she/her) for the Ohio Environmental Council (OEC):

“Sadly, Ohioans face yet another summer worrying about harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie. 

“The science is clear. The only way to meaningfully reduce harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie and protect our drinking water, economy, and way of life is to significantly reduce the nutrient pollution. The 2014 Toledo Water Crisis was met with bold declarations of action by elected officials and government agency leaders and has spurred significant state-level investments from the H2Ohio Program. Yet, to meet the moment, bold leadership is still needed. 

“We must continue to innovate and scale long-term solutions to ensure safe, clean water.  Our families and our communities depend on it.”




READ: The Cost to Meet Water Quality Goals in the Western Basin of Lake Erie (2023)

The Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) is the state’s most comprehensive and effective environmental advocate for a healthier, more sustainable Ohio. The OEC develops and ensures the implementation of forward-thinking, science-based, pragmatic solutions to secure healthy air, land, and water for all who call Ohio home.